Congratulations, it’s your senior year of high school and you’ve got a list of your top college/training choices, but your list is still 10 colleges long— WOWZA! Before you become overwhelmed with a barrage of emails and correspondence from college recruiters, now is a good time to start narrowing your choices down to your top three, if not your number one choice. This will allow you time to finalizing the admissions process with room to enjoy your last year in high school. Below are some tips to consider.
Make sure your colleges are good matches for you. Do they meet your career, academic, financial, safety, extracurricular, and location needs? College Raptor is a good online tool to help you narrow down your choices.
Tour the campus when possible. On-campus tours are always best, but if that’s not possible try virtual tours to get an idea of what the campus looks like and the surrounding area. After all, you will be spending the next few years of your life there. Make sure it’s a place you will be happy in.
Know the college requirements. Make sure your GPA and SAT or ACT scores meet the basic admissions requirements. Also, keep in mind that some competitive colleges may also require an essay and letters of recommendation. For help on getting prepared click here.
Submit your application. It’s very important that you submit your application in a timely manner as some colleges have deadlines, and they may not accept all applicants. If you do not get into your dream college, there may still be time to apply to your backup college.
Application fees- Most college applications require a fee. The fees vary from school to school but can range, an average, from $50 to as high as $300. Be prepared to pay a fee for each application you submit. If possible, ask college recruiters for waivers or take advantage of free application days when offered. Ask your college admissions department for details. For multiple applications the Common App is also available which saves you the time of filling out individual applications but the college application fees will still apply unless you are given waiver codes from each of your college choices.
Finalizing Admissions- The actual process of admissions will vary from school to school but it may include the application and fee, arranging for high school transcripts to be sent to the college, arranging for on-campus or off-campus housing, meeting with an advisor to select your courses, completing your FAFSA, and attending an orientation. Visit your college website for a checklist.
Whether it’s finalizing colleges or admissions, there’s a lot to get done your senior year. Start now, and give yourself time to take in the last remaining memories of high school.